Neil Critchley: A special owner, unbelievable fans and a great season for Blackpool
Neil Critchley has finally admitted that Blackpool’s season has been a ‘great’ one, not simply ‘good’.
The Seasiders secured a memorable promotion to the Championship yesterday, beating Lincoln City 2-1 in their Wembley play-off final.
Critchley’s men recovered from a horror start, conceding in 48 seconds, to flip the game on its head thanks to a Kenny Dougall double.
The win, which was celebrated long into the night by players and fans alike, sees Blackpool return to the Championship after a six-year absence.
For Critchley, it caps off a magnificent campaign in what was his first full season in charge, despite Pool’s head coach recently insisting their season had been a good one at best.
“It’s definitely a great season now, a great, great one. I couldn’t be prouder,” Critchley told The Gazette.
“A special mention to Simon Sadler. He came onto the pitch with us and this is for him.
“He’s from Blackpool, he’s a Blackpool fan and the club and the town and the people mean everything to him.
“You could see what it meant to him on the pitch afterwards. It was fantastic for him. They’ve made it an incredible season for everyone.”
Blackpool’s triumph sparked wild scenes of celebration among the 4,000 lucky fans at Wembley.
Captain Chris Maxwell lifted the trophy to finish a long, hard season in the best manner possible.
“The support is just unbelievable,” Critchley added.
“I know every manager will say that, but there’s just something different about our supporters because they’re unique.
“Through adversity you see the strength and passion of our supporters and they have that in abundance. You see what it means to them.
“We obviously stayed in a hotel close to Wembley and they were all around the hotel wishing us good luck.
“I genuinely think that even if we had lost, the supporters would have supported the team and been right behind us.
“To give them a night like this, or maybe a few days for some of them...
“They will have a cracking night and so will we.”
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